Are there differences in mortality among wine consumers and other alcoholic beverages?

Wine consumers, especially in comparison with spirits drinkers, have been shown to have higher levels of education and income, to consume a healthier diet, be more physically active, and have other characteristics that are associated with better health outcomes. However, epidemiologic studies have been inconsistent in showing that, after adjustment for all associated lifestyle factors, consumers of wine have lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality than do consumers of other beverages.

A study based on the long-term follow up of a group of older Americans concluded that the associated and environmental factors of wine consumers largely explained their better health outcomes. Forum reviewers were concerned about some of the methodological approaches used, and believed that the data presented in the paper were inadequate to support such a conclusion. This was a small study, had only a single estimate of (at baseline but not throughout 20 years of follow up), and the authors may have over-adjusted for large differences in between what they termed as "low-wine" and "high-wine" consumers. The study did confirm a lower for alcohol consumers than for non-drinkers.

Experimental studies have clearly indicated that the polyphenols and other constituents that are present in wine and some beers have independent protective effects against most . Whether or not such advantages are seen among moderate drinkers of wine (or beer) in epidemiologic studies is difficult to determine, as comparisons are not being made between wine, beer, and spirits but between humans who consume one or other such beverage. In almost all populations, drinkers of a specific beverage differ in many ways other than just the type of beverage they consume.

More information: Holahan CJ, Schutte KK, Brennan PL, North RJ, Holahah CK, Moos BS, Moos RH. Wine consumption and 20-year mortality among late-life moderate drinkers. J Stud Alcohol Drug 2012; 73: 80.

Related Stories

Relation of alcohol consumption to colorectal cancer

date Sep 13, 2011

A meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies on the association of alcohol consumption with colorectal cancer was carried out, based on 22 studies from Asia, 2 from Australia, 13 from Western Europe, and 24 from North ...

Does moderate alcohol consumption increase body weight?

date Aug 16, 2011

A paper from Spain provides an extensive review of the association between alcohol consumption and body weight. Based on the fact that the energy content in 1 gram of alcohol is 29 kJ or 7.1 kcal, excessive alcohol consumption ...

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date 49 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date 49 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date 2 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 4 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.